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Located on the Todd River, Mercure Alice Springs is only a few minutes' walk from the town centre, galleries and cultural precinct. Barra on Todd Restaurant and Bar offers distinctive cuisine and delectable dishes seasoned with local flavours. 139 comfortable, spacious rooms including refurbished Standard and Superior rooms with stunning imagery of the Red Centre. Facilities include a swimming pool and fitness centre and all rooms offer complimentary wi-fi and parking.
Where to eat:
A delicious BBQ dinner and sparkling wine will fill you up while you take in the breathtaking site of the sun setting over the Australian outback and mountainous Uluru.
On your day tours you will be provided with a freshly packed lunch and fruit and snacks throughout the day to keep you satisfied on your adventure around the Red Centre.
There are plenty of unique places to eat in Alice Springs and many of them you’ll find situated in and around Todd Mall. Tucked away in the Fan Arcade just off Todd Mall you’ll find Page 27, Alice’s own slice of Melbourne’s laneway culture. Loved by locals for its all-day brekky and pumping tunes, this little cafe has become a bit of an institution for lovers of all things cool. Epilogue (Page 27’s sister eatery and located on the other side of the Todd Mall) is open until the wee hours of the morning and is famous for its share plates (the nachos are insane!) and vibrant live music scene. Dine and dance in the rooftop section for the full hipster experience.
What to do:
The premium Uluru tour will take you via a luxury coach to the domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) as well as a Walpa Gorge Walk, immersing you in the beauty of the Red Centre’s landscape, followed by a trip to the informative Aboriginal Cultural Centre. From here you’ll then be taken on a guided Mala walk around the north-west side of the famed Uluru where you’ll see many examples of Anangu rock art while also being told dreamtime stories of the Anangu people by your experienced guide. This is followed by a second guided walk starting from the back of Uluru. While listening to stories of local traditions and practices, you’ll be guided to the Mutitjulu Waterhole, home of an ancestral water snake called Wanampi, where you can also view caves containing historic rock art. A fresh BBQ dinner with a view of the famous rock will then end your adventuring for the day as you take in the stunning outback sunset. Whilst it is a long day out The West MacDonnell Ranges tour will provide you with panoramic landscapes, spectacular outback scenery and many photo opportunities as you travel along the ranges, stopping occasionally at historic sites. You’ll enjoy beautiful walks at Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, the Ochre Pits and a stop at Ormiston Gorge for lunch. Next stop is the spectacular gorge of Glen Helen before heading to Ellery Creek Big Hole, one of Central Australia’s most pristine waterholes, for a refreshing swim. On the return trip to Alice Springs you’ll witness the spectacular ranges light up with the brilliant orange and reds of the day’s sunset.
Otherwise, you can choose to go on a 1 Day Palm Valley 4WD Tour is a fascinating day. Travelling through the West MacDonnell Ranges making way to the Historic Precinct of Hermannsburg known to the Arrarnta people as ‘Ntaria’. Hermannsburg was the birthplace of celebrated Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira in 1902 and is renowned for its indigenous art collection. Explore the historic buildings and the Art Gallery. It’s then time to depart Hermannsburg and journey along the ancient Finke River bed by custom built 4WD. After morning tea, stop at “The Amphitheatre” or Kalaranga lookout for a short walk. Then time to sit back and take in the beautiful scenery, enjoy the 4WD drive into Palm Valley where you will be able to wander amongst the relict Palms and Cycads. Here you will have the opportunity to complete to Rim Walk or the River Walk and experience this Oasis in the desert. On the return journey, enjoy a delicious fresh picnic lunch before returning to Alice Springs to watch the fading light reflecting off the MacDonnell Ranges.
At Alice Springs Desert Park you’ll find a range of options to fill your time with adventure and interesting experiences. At the Eagle Encounter you’ll find your heart racing as you get up close with Australia’s largest bird of prey, the majestic wedge-tailed eagle. Walk the Land will immerse you in the spirituality of the living desert as you admire local wildlife and learn hunting and gathering techniques, all while lead by an expert guide. You can also learn about the history of the traditional owners of the land, the Arrernte people, and their unique stories as well as the opportunity to experience an informative cinematic journey through millions of years of desert evolution.
If you’re planning a visit to Alice, you’ve probably already got the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens on your itinerary. If so, you’ll be pleased to know the team there also know how to serve up a good feed! Why not grab some lunch and get amongst the local flora! Be sure to walk up Anzac Hill for a stunning sunset picture over Alice Springs and the West MacDonnell Ranges as the back drop.
Location & how to get there
Alice Springs Airport (alicespringsairport.com.au) is served by Virgin Australia, Qantas and Air North with capital cities served mostly by daily flights. There are also connections to and from Ayers Rock airport as well as several regional airports, mostly within the NT.
The airport is a 15 minute drive to the centre of town. An airport shuttle meets all flights and serves all central hotels. Car hire is available direct from the airport and there are plentiful taxis available at the airport rank. Private transfers, while available are limited, especially at peak times. Alice Springs can also be reached by The Ghan, from either Darwin or Adelaide. The train station is a short walk from the town centre and a shuttle service, as well as taxis serve all arrivals/departures.
Driving to Alice Springs is scenic from whichever direction you arrive, with the trip from Darwin or Adelaide being one of the most iconic road trips in Australia. Various turn offs along the Stuart Highway lead to points along the East Coast on (mostly) sealed roads. For the adventurous and those that seek true solitude the 1126km unsealed Great Central Road, which links Yalara to Laverton in Central Australia will give you an outback experience like no other.
On sale until 30 September 2019. For travel until 31 March 2020. Seasonal supplements apply for travel between 1 August – 30 September 2019. Blackout dates may apply and some inclusions may be closed over public holidays. **The 1 day premium Uluru day tour departs only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ask us about extending the Premium Uluru day tour to an overnight tour including beautiful Kings Canyon. *The 1 day Palm Valley 4WD tour operates seasonally and requires a minimum of 5 passengers to guarantee departure, if not in operation it will operate as the 1 day West MacDonnell Ranges tour. Prices and inclusions are correct as of 18 July 2019 and may be subject to change due to availability, surcharges, fees or taxes without notice. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices are based on 2 adults. Please contact us on 1800 854 897 or email@example.com to enquire. Airfares and transfers are additional unless otherwise specified. For full terms and conditions and details on our refund policy, view our booking conditions. E&OE.